The Menlo girls won their first section Track and Field title in 2019 powered by their two distance runners, Charlotte Tomkinson and Kyra Pretre (above courtesy of Anda Chu). With those two runners now competing in college, a new crop of female distance runners are now ready to make their names known in this section for the upcoming season.
We will work our way down with the top 7 in each event starting out with the shortest distance event, the 800m.
There is a very clear favorite in this event with St. Francis, Mt. View senior, Issy Cairns. She finished in 3rd place behind the Menlo duo in 2019 as a sophomore. Last year, Cairns led her teammates to a 2nd place finish at the California State Cross Country meet behind Newbury Park. Cairns has a PR 2:12.90 from her sophomore track season.
Her main competition should come from a couple of WBAL runners. Castilleja sophomore Samira Kennedy ran 2:15.56 at last year's Rust Buster Invitational at her lone official performance. She improved her time to a hand-timed 2:14.2 in May.
The second WBAL runner, Sacred Heart Prep senior Luci Lambert, has been on fire during the shortened XC season. She ran 17:45.0 5k on her home course. Her 800 PR is 2:19.75 but appears to be super fit and will be a definite contender.
Another runner who will be in the mix will be Abraham Lincoln senior, Hannah Gehrt. She ran a PR of 2:17.90 during the 2019 Track and Field season during the CCS semi-finals.
The rest of the contenders will include Los Gatos junior Fiona Herron. She finished in 3rd place at the SCVAL meet with a PR of 2:18.40. Another St. Francis runner, Christel Elkins is another runner under 2:20 with a 2:18.70 PR. Our 7th athlete will be the usual freshman who will be a factor by the end of the season.
One of the best freshmen in California last year was Lauren Soobrian of Los Altos. She finished in 4th place at the 2019 California State Cross Country Division I race with a time of 17:42.7. Her first two attempts at the 1600 last spring were in 4:59.24 and 4:58.81.
The already mentioned Luci Lambert ran 5:05.03 as a 9th grader to qualify for the CCS final. She improved her mark to 5:03.3h last spring and as you can see above is in excellent shape.
The WBAL has a strong group of girls that includes Harker senior Anna Weirich. She ran 5:00.49 in the 1600 in early February. If she chooses to double in the two longest distance events, Weirich will be a threat to finish in the top 3 in this event.
The next group should include Archbishop Mitty Alexandra Zanon who was one of the top freshman Cross Country runners in the section in 2019. Christel Elkins of St. Francis (5:07.22), Melissa Cichon of Leland (5:07.28) and Layla Ruiz of Watsonville (5:09.22) are all runners who have run faster than 5:10 and should all contend for a top finish.
The last championship 3200m is shown above courtesy of Anda Chu. The winner was #2, Carlmont's Kaimei Gescuk who won the race in 10:42.15.
The favorite to win here will be Los Altos freshman Lauren Soobrian. In her lone effort at this distance last spring season, she ran 10:39.79 after running 4:59.24 earlier in the meet.
Anna Weirich of Harker has had a couple of efforts at this distance this year and very recently ran 10:46.84 to show that she is among the best in CCS.
Kaiya Brooks of Crystal Springs Uplands School had the 4th all-time fastest time for a frosh on the Crystal Springs course with a time of 17:42.8. She also ran a strong 11:08.78 at the Dan Gabor Invitational in her only attempt at the distance.
A couple of other girls who will be in the mix will be Layla Ruiz of Watsonville (11:01.53), Yvonne Brien Miller of Sequoia (11:02.85), and Evie Cohen of St. Ignatius (11:08.50). They all qualified to the 2019 CCS finals which gives them all valuable experience for this season.